Sketching Swatching and Sampling are such valuable weaving tools

I am working hard on a new tapestry. It’s inching along, as tapestry does, when you are in focused mode.

BUT… I found myself feeling really stuck when I finished one section, and couldn’t move forward onto the next section.

So, I fell back on my ultimate design tool.

I got out my sketchbooks and aquarelles (watercolor pencils), and did the thing that my drawing master back in my art school days drilled into me: Sketch, sketch, sketch!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

He also drilled into his students that it is essential to carry your sketchbook or notebook with you ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE, and to sketch every single day.

AND, even more important: Don’t worry about making ‘good’ sketches.

Just catch thoughts, dreams, words, and other fleeting moments on the paper and let them build a vocabulary for you.

The part of the tapestry that had me flummoxed is a child’s costume.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, until I worked my way through a bunch of really rough, ‘thinking on paper’ sketches.

That took me through the roadblock to the ‘AHA’….

And I knew that I needed to move onto sampling and swatching.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I set up my 8 inch Lani Mirrix loom with a ‘no warp ends’ warp, using ‘S’ hooks… in the video, I show some pointers about this setup.

As a professional designer, I cannot underestimate the importance of swatches andย  sampling.

I am always amazed by knitters and crocheters who skip this foundation aspect of the creative process!

So much is revealed in the swatching and sampling stages of creation.

AND… something else that is a huge bonus- so often, the sampling and swatching will reveal that there is something new to explore!

(Which of course, leads back to the sketching…) !

Even though the feeling stuck part of working on this tapestry really stank while I was in it, I ended up feeling really grateful for being forced to move back to basic problem solving techniques.

Why? Because I am now inspired to explore soumak weaving, which I have not done before.

I am fascinated and intrigued…. there will be more about this!

In the mean time, here’s the video about sketching, sampling and swatching.

And, even though I don’t normally like to show pieces while they are in progress, I did do a little ‘reveal’ of the new tapestry.



Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Mirrix loom, tutorial & how to, weaving & handwoven

4 responses to “Sketching Swatching and Sampling are such valuable weaving tools

  1. Sharon

    Noreen,, I agree with you totally about sampling and swatching, however, I am one of those folks that can barely draw a straight line with a ruler :-))). I do carry a notebook with me but the best I can manage is writing ideas down for future reference. I do go into as much detail as I can regarding color, basic shape etc.
    BTW, I am now looking for a used Mirriix in the small to medium size.


  2. Hi Sharon,
    Luckily, we have rulers to help us draw straight lines ๐Ÿ˜€
    Carrying that notebook is sooooooo important! It’s an inspiration kick starter and thought catcher. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope you find your Mirrix! You’re going to love it! ๐Ÿ˜€


  3. Wonderful subject, so inspiring. Nicely dne, Noreen.


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